Hours before dawn this morning, while walking in the desert, I came upon a small group of young men and an old flatbed truck. The men appeared to be American Indians. A foal trotted along side the truck, falling on a sharp hook that protruded from the truck’s bed. Blood oozed from the wound. I suggested that the foal needed attention, and though there was some dissent, they finally agreed. I had to open a cattle crossing and carry the foal a short way to a large ranch house. The foal was taken somewhere by someone, while the group of men remained. Eventually they led me to an older man in the house. I asked to use the toilet, and the old man and the group of men lead me through a large living room toward the back of the house. We walked by a number of bedrooms and through a large community sleeping room with many single beds in it. All along the way through the house many of the mens’ wives greeted us. They appeared to know me and that I was coming. Finally we emerged through a doorway into a restaurant.
In the restaurant, under bright lights, I looked closely at the men. They were older than they looked. I looked again and saw that they were my age and I knew them vaguely. They were all saying to me that they were happy to have be back. One man showed me a block of soap that they’d developed for a car wash, and wanted me to tell them why it didn’t work now, though had worked several weeks ago. I had no clue, yet it came to me that a few weeks ago the soap was new, now it was aged and had lost its potency.
Another of the men spoke of his wife, in hushed, intimate, tones; she’d been injured some time ago and the insurance company paid for complete restricting of her jaw. In a more recent injury, the insurance was doing little to help. As he spoke it dawned on me that I’d known these men as a child.
A woman appeared then and we spoke about my going away, and that I regretted it. She said it was what it was, and that now I was back and that too was as it was to be. She was happy I was back.
Soon we wandered back into the house and the older man I’d met earlier showed me my bed, saying it was my old bed. It was in the community bedroom with many other single beds. As I lay down, the woman that I’d spoken came and lay next to me. She said she missed how when we were kids we’d all slept together on the floor.
I felt content. I felt appreciated. I was home. I now only vaguely knew I’d had a life away, but now I, home, that life was a million miles away. In the distance ‘yotes (coyotes) sang to a tranquil yellow dawn.
I awoke from my dream only minutes before the alarm sounded. I went to the kitchen to make my wife some coffee for her commute to her office. As I did so I thought of the dream. I began to connect the house in the dream to a ranch house I remember as a child. In the house lived a girl that was like a sister to me. In the house there was a room behind the living room in which we’d played. She told me that it was where the ranch hands once lived. I was born only a few miles from her, on a small ranch, in the desert, in the foothills of a mountain range, a hundred of so miles east of Los Angeles.
The dream and the reality of my own life merged. A childhood friend was a Mexican-American Indian, the son of my Father’s First Sergeant. My Father had built up a small ranch soon after WWII, and invited to it a woman he’d met in England while staging with the 101st Airborne Division for D-Day. She was the daughter of a Welsh miner, from a small village in South Wales. When my Father met her, she was a nurse stationed near the Army post. Their first date was a true blind date; it was in a black out. She arrived by boat in New York, and they married. I was born on the ranch a few years later.
After this I will pour out My Spirit on all humanity;
then your sons and your daughters will prophesy,
your old men will have dreams,
and your young men will see visions.
I will even pour out My Spirit
on the male and female slaves in those days.
I will display wonders
in the heavens and on the earth:
blood, fire, and columns of smoke.
The sun will be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood
before the great and awe- inspiring Day of the Lord comes.
Then everyone who calls
on the name of the LORD will be saved,
for there will be an escape
for those on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem,
as the Lord promised,
among the survivors the Lord calls. —Joel 2:28-32 (emphasis added)
Mulling all this over, I recalled that my parents had appeared briefly in the dream, also. I also saw in the dream that I’d been very unhappy at myself that I’d left the ranch, which is how I’ve felt in reality. I left the ranch, was torn from the ranch, why my Father’s National Guard infantry company was activated for deployment and combat in Korea. I never knew why my Father sold the ranch, but he must have felt couldn’t afford to hire ranch manager to run the ranch in his absence.
After my Father returned from Korea, we never returned to the ranch or that small desert town, except on an occasional visit. That burned beneath my skin; it galled me throughout my life. I can still taste the bitterness. I not only had been uprooted, but my Father was taken from me when I so very much needed stability and him. I also wanted the simplicity and security of the ranch I knew in my child mind. Yes, my Mother settled us on the coast south of Los Angeles, and my Welsh aunt came to live with us. Yes, they spoke Welsh and I learned it too, though don’t speak many words now, for its long been forgotten. Yes, I came to love the salt air, the smell of the sea, the cry of the gulls, and the water—oh, the blue-green salt water. But something was torn from within me that never returned—at least not until this morning’s predawn dream.
The sense of contentment, the feeling of appreciation for me by those dream people on that dreamed ranch in the desert still warm me now, several hours later. And the feeling of welcome and the hugs of true friendship are so pleasant. What I take from this dream is that there shall come a time that I will one day go home and this life, with all its highs and lows, its beauty and ugliness, will fade away and the true reality of who I am will come to be. I will be home, among true friends, among those that truly love me, truly accept me.
I love You LORD!